Maths Sparks: Investigating the impact of outreach on pupils' attitudes towards mathematics
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|Title:||Maths Sparks: Investigating the impact of outreach on pupils' attitudes towards mathematics||Authors:||Cronin, Anthony; Ní Shúilleabháin, Aoibhinn; Lewanowski-Breen, Emily; Kennedy, Christopher||Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8489||Date:||2017||Online since:||2017-05-09T14:45:12Z||Abstract:||In this article, we examine the impact of participating in a series of mathematics workshops on secondary-school pupils' attitudes towards mathematics. A six-week program, entitled 'Maths Sparks', was run by a team of lecturers and students at a research-intensive university in the Republic of Ireland. The outreach series aimed to promote mathematics to pupils from schools designated as socio-economically disadvantaged (DEIS - Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), who are less likely to study mathematics at higher level than their non-DEIS counterparts (Smyth et al. 2015). Sixty-two pupils participated in the research and data was generated through pre-post questionnaires based on the Fennema-Sherman (1976) framework of Attitudes to Mathematics. Findings suggest that while male students initially had more positive attitudes towards mathematics, there was a narrowing in this gender gap across several factors on the Fennema-Sherman scale as a result of participation in the programme. The most prominent of these features were: 'Attitudes towards success in mathematics' and 'Motivation towards mathematics'. Findings suggest that the construct and delivery of this Mathematics outreach programme, involving undergraduate students and academic staff, may provide a useful structure in benefitting pupils' attitudes towards mathematics and encouraging their study of the subject.||Funding Details:||Science Foundation Ireland||Type of material:||Journal Article||Publisher:||Higher Education Academy||Journal:||MSOR Connections||Volume:||15||Issue:||3||Start page:||4||End page:||13||Copyright (published version):||2017 Higher Education Academy||Keywords:||Maths Sparks; Mathematics outreach; Widening participation; DEIS schools; Student-staff collaboration; Pedagogy||Other versions:||https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/msor/issue/view/52||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Peer reviewed|
|Appears in Collections:||Mathematics and Statistics Research Collection|
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